Research team to begin phase II of testing soon

Speaking on his current work in progress, Nobel Laureate Jean Marie-Lehn said he was working on a novel cancer drug that had tested well in laboratories and a research team was about to start Phase II of testing soon.

The drug was different from other conventional cancer cures as it targeted the oxygen delivery to cancer cells. In Phase II of testing, they would be using human beings to test its efficacy. So far, it had worked well when tested in mice. Phase II should begin by the end of the year, he told The Hindu on the sidelines of a public lecture he delivered at Pondicherry University on Thursday.

On the topic of applications of Supramolecular chemistry, which is his field of specialisation, he said one of the biggest applications of the field is in gene transfer and genetically modified organisms. This field is the future of mankind and he made an appeal not to stop research and development of genetically modified organisms.

He hoped that more researchers would opt to take up work in this field.

Mr. Jean-Marie Lehn was awarded Nobel Prize with Donald Cram and Charles Pederson in 1987 for their work in chemistry, particularly the synthesis of cryptands. He is a pioneer in the field of supramolecular chemistry (the chemistry of host-guest molecular assemblies created by intermolecular interactions).

On Thursday, he delivered a public lecture entitled “From Matter to Life: Chemistry? Chemistry!” where he discussed the evolution of chemistry to the point where it arrived at adaptive chemistry, which was the field he was currently researching. The anti-cancer drug was one part of his current research, he said. The lecture at Pondicherry University marked the end of his trip to India where he visited Mumbai, Chennai and Vellore.